Basic Black Beans

Black Beans

Black Beans

by Cat, May 2009 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Includes: 1. Basic Black Beans; 2. Black Beans with Onion and Bell Pepper.

See also: 1. Legumes (About) (on my main website); 2Beans & Other Legumes: Soaking & Sprouting; 3. Basic Cooked Beans, PeasOther sites: 4. Emily Skinner Bean Recipes (2); 5. The Vegan Gourmet on dried beans & peas (great reference! (3))

My favorite way to eat black beans is as Cuban Black Bean soup.  But I also like them to accompany enchiladas, or for Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas.

Most of my black bean recipes start with basic black beans, then dress them up for a unique recipe. The  second recipe (Black Beans with Onion and Bell Pepper) is an example of a simple dressing-up.

The most important step in preparing the beans is pre-soaking or sprouting the beans before cooking to maximize nutrient content. Some recipes have you soak for about 30 minutes only, but while that does soften them a bit, it does not improve their nutritional value. Start them on a soak before you go to bed, and they’ll be ready to cook the next afternoon. Or start sprouting them a couple days before you plan to cook.

Cooked Black Beans

Moved to Basic Cooked Beans, Peas.

Basic Black Beans

This recipe is adapted from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD.

Note that ½ pound dried beans (about 1 cup) yields 3 cups cooked. Alternately, 1 cup cooked requires 2.6 oz dried beans.

Do not salt the beans until they are almost tender. Salting them too early will keep them from softening during the cooking process.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • ½ – ¾ pound black beans
  • warm filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp whey or lemon juice
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 to 2 ½ cups veggie broth or filtered water
  • Unrefined sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • large bowl
  • 3-quart saucier or sauce pan, or French oven (for stovetop cooking); a crock pot can also be used.

Method to soak & cook beans:

  1. Cover beans in bowl with warm water.  Stir in whey or lemon juice and leave in a warm place overnight (24 hours), adding more water as necessary.  The longer they soak, the shorter the cooking time.  If you want to sprout them, rinse twice a day for 2 – 3 more days, until sprouted.
  2. Remove papery skin and roots from onion; set aside.  Slice or mince garlic.
  3. Drain beans, rinse and add to the pot along with 2 cups of stock/broth. Boil for 10 minutes (very important, to ensure soft beans) and skim.
  4. Stir in garlic; add whole onion.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 3 hours, until beans are tender.
  5. About 30 minutes before they are ready, season with salt and pepper.  Add ground cumin or herbs, if desired.
  6. When done, remove onion.

Black Beans with Onion and Bell Pepper

I don’t remember where I got this recipe. It’s a simple example of how you can dress up the beans.

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • 1 recipe basic black beans
  • 1 -2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • ½ green bell pepper, cored & chopped
  • small bunch cilantro
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • Unrefined sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and ground cayenne pepper
  • cast iron skillet
  • wooden spoon


  1. Prepare Basic Black Beans (see above). When done, drain beans, discarding onion.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Wash and drain the cilantro, then chop coarsely.
  3. Place cumin seeds in dry skillet and heat, stirring, until the seeds release their fragrance. Lower heat to medium-low and add oil. When oil is warmed, add onion and bell pepper. Sauté until just beginning to soften, then add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
  4. Add veggies and seeds to the cooked beans and warm. Adjust seasoning, then just before serving, add most of the cilantro, but reserve some to garnish the beans on the plate.


  1. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD.
  2. Emily Skinner Bean Recipes (; 
  3. The Vegan Gourmet on dried beans & peas (great reference!) (

About Cat

See my 'About' page
This entry was posted in Fat or oil, Herbs, Legumes, Nuts and seeds, Onion family, Simmered, Spices, Vine veggies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.